THIRST (1979) Reviews and overview of Australian sci-fi horror movie

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‘A conspiracy of terror with only one desire.’
Thirst is a 1979 Australian science fiction horror film in which a descendant of Elizabeth Báthory is abducted by a blood-drinking cult.. It has been described as a blend of vampire and science fiction genres, influenced by the 1973 science fiction film Soylent Green as well as drawing on the vampire folklore of Elizabeth Báthory – one of several horror films in the 1970s to do so.


Directed by Rod Hardy from a screenplay written by John Pinkney.

The movie stars Chantal Contouri, Max Phipps, David Hemmings and Henry Silva.



Married professional Kate Davis (Chantal Contouri), is kidnapped by a shadowy organization known as ‘The Brotherhood’. She is informed of her ancient lineage of descent from Elizabeth Báthory. The Brotherhood have a hospital-like compound where they clinically ‘bleed’ brainwashed and hypnotised humans and harvest and consume their blood.

After Kate refuses to join, the cult debates over whether to give her hallucinogens to break down her resistance. Doctor Fraser (Hemmings) is against this but is outnumbered. Kate is initiated into the cult, feasts on blood and is returned home.

Later, Kate’s lover Derek (Rod Mullinar) is kidnapped and taken to the farm. Dr Fraser helps him escape and seeks out Kate, seemingly in an attempt to reunite them, only to reveal he is also descended from a vampire lineage and seeks a union with her…


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Our view:

Thirst is a much better film than you might expect. It’s thought-provoking, engrossing and pretty unique, and Severin’s Blu-ray release, which allows the film to finally look great for home viewing after years of substandard VHS releases, will surely help boost its reputation amongst genre fans.
David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:
“Whether due to budgetary constraints or a lack of vision, or both, this would have been a better film if it had packed in some more scenes that allowed The Brotherhood to look like a much bigger, and perhaps more dangerous, place. This is horror sci-fi that is a bit light on both (the horror is not horrific enough, despite the implications, and the sci-fi isn’t extrapolated further), but it still manages to overcome the obvious flaws thanks to the strength of that intriguing third act.” For It is Man’s Number

“Director Rod Hardy mounts some effective suspense in moments like when Kate, having temporarily escaped the vampire farm, desperately trying to get a stalled truck going on a lonely road where the only people passing by are more haemovores…” This Island Rod

Thirst DVD

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“If you think you’ve seen it all in regard to our bloodsucking friends you definitely need to give Thirst a chance. By sparing us the clichés and concentrating on the psychological it stands up better than most vamp flicks half its age.” Kindertrauma


” …this is certainly one that I would recommend genre fans looking at and also anyone interested in seeing a film that chronicles a psychological dismemberment of the victim…” Taliesin Meets the Vampires

“This thirty year old film managed to go further than most modern vamp cinema. The shower scene here is a classic of its own. Of course Elizabeth Bathory was known for known bathing in the blood of her victims, so this scene is not only appropriate to the film but certainly one of the highlights.” Brutal as Hell


Cast and characters:
Chantal Contouri … Kate Davis
Shirley Cameron … Mrs Barker
Max Phipps … Mr Hodge
Henry Silva … Dr Gauss
Rod Mullinar … Derek
David Hemmings … Dr Fraser
Rosie Sturgess … Lori
Robert Thompson … Sean
Walter Pym … Ditcher
Amanda Muggleton … Martha
Lulu Pinkus … Nurse
Chris Milne … David
Jacqui Gordon … Leah
Val Christensen … Toni
Glenys O’Brien … Guide
Benny Nightingale … Tourist driver
Stephen Clark … Barman
Stewart Faichney … Security man
David Vella … Security man
Paddy Burnet … Blue rinse lady
Yvette Rees … Nurse
Vicki Andonopoulos … Kate as a child

Filming locations:
The artists’ colony of Montsalvat north of Melbourne was used as the cult’s headquarters.

Technical details:
1 hour 33 minutes
Audio: Mono
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1


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